Friday, November 30, 2007

For the Children (and God)

Recently a friend sent me a forwarded email. I detest these. They have some promise of "forward to 6 people in 24-hours and you will be blessed with good luck" or they have overly-cutesy images that slow down my computer. I usually just hit delete, especially if it requires watching a video or slide show.

This particular email about Invisble Moms arrived just in time. I had been feeling badly about my job as a mother. Lainy Ann is going through a rough time as she is exerting her independence since she has started Kindergarten, we are often left butting heads and I am left scratching mine trying to figure out how to remind her not to wear a summer dress in winter without yelling and tantrums. Connor is testing me - just flat out ignoring me. And William sleeps great all night long provided he is being held or is in my bed.

Any one of these thing by itself isn't that challenging, but I'm dealing with all of it right now and I'm tired (since I'm trying to teach William to sleep in his bed). In addition, I have be confronted numerous times recently about our parenting decisions and theories. People who are close to us have not so nicely been implying that we are raising our children wrong and that we are ruining them. It is very demoralizing. As a result I have been questioning our methods, re-evaluating our decisions, and coming to the same conclusion each time: We are doing what is best for *our* children.

I almost bought the book just so I would have a daily reminder of why I do what I do every day. Why we put our children first, why we miss events in favor of our children's nap schedules, and why we pay full price for our child the day they turn 3 years old. It would be easy to have gray areas and let things go, just this once. But what message does that send my children and what message does that send God?

So we will continue to miss parties that interfere with nap time. We will teach our children that some people aren't polite, but we still are. We will teach our children that healthful eating is good for our bodies no matter how yummy the candy looks. And yes, we will teach our children that 'hate' is a bad word. Its not easy to do those things. It is so much easier to let the kids have fries and soda with their happy meals, to buy processed microwavable food instead of cooking organic food on the stove. And we will expect respect above all else. But we are doing all of this for our children.

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